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Jagai and Madhai Ghat
About 100 meters north of Mahaprabhu Ghat is Jagai and Madhai Ghat. Jagai and Madhai were born into an illustrious brahmana dynasty in Shridham Navadwip. Their names were Jagananda and Madhavananda Bandopadiya. But they became drunkards, meat-eaters, gamblers, sexmongers and murderers due to undesirable association. They had completely fallen away from all religious principles and as they spent their days and nights in a drunken stupor and in sinful living. They caused so much disturbance and anxiety by their abominable behavior that saintly and respectable persons avoided them like the plague.
When, at the age of 18, Shri Krishna Chaitanya inaugurated His sankirtan movement at the house of Shrivas Pandit, the very first mandate He issued was for Prabhu Nityananda and Haridas Thakur to travel through the streets of Navadwip, knock on every door, and ask every person they met to chant the Holy Names of Krishna. Reflecting on the Lord's command while joyfully executing the Lord's desire, Shri Nityananda Prabhu and Haridas Thakur decided that Jagai and Madhai, being the most fallen and sinful souls in Shridham Navadwip, were suitable candidates for receiving the Lord's mercy. They therefore humbly approached the two brothers and requested them to loudly chant the Holy Names of Krishna.Jagai and Madhai were, at that time, both completely intoxicated. They thus could not understand the words of Nityananda Prabhu and Haridas Thakur. But, after repeated attempts, Prabhu Nityananda made it clear that He wanted Jagai and Madhai to chant the Holy Names of Krishna. Jagai and Madhai became enraged and immedi-ately began chasing Nityananda Prabhu and Haridas Thakur who fled for their lives.The next day Prabhu Nityananda and Haridas Thakur became even more determined to redeem the two brothers. They reasoned that if they could somehow or other convert these two wicked and worthless sinners into saintly devotees, the glories of Lord Chaitanya and the glories of the Lord's sankirtan movement would be enhanced. Thus Lord Nityananda and Haridas came upon the two brothers once again. Humbly approaching Jagai and Madhai, Nityananda Prabhu requested them again to please chant the Holy Names of Krishna. Madhai heard these words and became so angry that he threw a piece of broken mudpot and hit Nitai. Blood flowed from Nityananda Prabhu's head. At that time Jagai caught Madhai's hands and requested him not to again strike Nityananda Prabhu.
Mahaprabhu heard of the violence and immediately rushed to see Nityananda. When He saw the drops of blood that had fallen to the ground from Prabhu Nityananda's wound, He became enraged. Loudly crying "Cakra! Cakra! Sudarsan Cakra!" Mahaprabhu summon His fiery and awesome Sudarsan disc. Terror arose in the minds of Jagai and Madhai. They fell in dread upon the ground and began howling like animals.At that time Lord Nityananda, whose heart melts in compassion for all conditioned souls, caught the hand of Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Nityananda said that They in Their incarnations as Krishna and Balaram, destroyed the evil influences on earth by personally killing thousands and thousands of demons. But They, in this incarnation, had descended to give love of God to everyone, regardless of eligibility. Because of this, it would not be appropriate for Mahaprabhu to kill Jagai and Madhai. Seeing Gauranga momentarily pause, Nitai told the Lord that actually Jagai had /checked Madhai from striking Him a second time. "Please, therefore," said Nityananda, "be merciful to Jagai."Upon hearing Nitai's words, Mahaprabhu embraced Jagai for having protected Nityananda. After dismissing His Shri Sudarsana, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu placed His lotus feet upon the chest of Jagai, who started loudly shouting "Hare Krishna! Hare Krishna!" and crying like a baby. Seeing this amazing display from his brother, Madhai quickly fell down at the feet of Lord Chaitanya and prayed that since they both had sinned together, at the same times and in the same places, how could He show mercy to one and forsake the other?
The Lord told Madhai that He would not be merciful, for Madhai had sturck Nitai. Only Prabhu Nityananda, Mahaprabhu said, could redeem him. hearing these words, Madhai fell at Prabhu Nityananda's lotus feet and begged Him for forgiveness. Lord Chaitanya, seeing Nityananda forgive Madhai, bestowed upon him love of Godhead.
At this time Mahaprabhu told His assocaites that Madhai and Jagai were now His servitors and that He was personally accepting all their sinful reactions. To make it perfectly clear that what He said was true, Lord Chaitanya's bodily color changed in front of everyone from golden to blackish. Jagai and Madhai at that moment were so ecstatic from being relieved of the burden of their innumerable sins that they began rolling on the ground, their hair stood on end, their bodies shivered, tears shed from their eyes in torrents. Lord Chaitanya ordered the Vaishnavas to begin kirtan at once to lift the black shroud of sin from His body. He ordered that the sinful cloud should enter the bodies of those who criticize and offend the devotees of Krishna.Shiva, Brahma, and all the demigods headed by Indra came without fail each day to witness and relish the pastimes of the Lord. Previously Indra had perceived his 1000 eyes given to him by Gautama Muni as a curse, but now he felt them a blessing for he could see the Lord 1000 times.
Yamaraj ji, the demigod in charge of awarding punishment to sinful souls such as Jagai and Madhai, was amazed. He asked his assistant Chitragupta to tabulate the number of sins Jagai and Madhai had committed, and Chitragupta sorrowfully shook his head saying that it was not possible for him to calculate the millions upon millions of sins they had committed in this one lifetime. Furthermore, the task of trying to tabulate the sins had brought him and his assistants to the point of complete exhaustion and a temporary breakdown. Yamaraj, one of the 12 Mahajanas and the embodiment of all religious principles, never previously had witnessed such a complete display of mercy. Realizing the unprecedented and extraordinary compassion in the sublime transcendental personality of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Yamaraj lost consciousness. Jagai and Madhai now became totally transformed human beings. Previously they had been sinners and atheists - practically animals. Now they were staunch brahmacari renunciates. Before sunrise every day, they bathed in Mother Ganges and, after putting on fresh cloth and applying tilaka on the 12 parts of their bodies, they happily sat down and chanted in total humility two hundred thousand names of Krishna:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Once Jagai and Madhai saw Nityananda Prabhu roaming carefree and in ecstasy. Madhai always felt remorse for his previous actions, and he begged Nityananda for instructions how he could redeem himself from his heinous, abominable sins. Shri Nityananda instructed him to clean this bathing ghat every day. By the order of Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Madhai served this ghat each day for the rest of his life. Whenever he saw anyone with Tulasi neckbeads, with Vaishnava tilaka, or who was chanting Hari-nama, he would immediately go to that devotee and offer his obeisances and take the dust from his feet. He built and cleaned with his own hands the steps made out of stones. Seeing the exemplary transformation of the brothers who had been previously sinful and wicked, people became accustomed to always calling the names of the two brothers at the same time. Thus this ghat became known as Jagai and Madhai Ghat.The swift conversion and redemption of the two brothers caused a sensation in Shridham Navadwip. The residents of the holy dham began to realize that Lord Chaitanya was an empowered being. Hare Krishna!